Using stock photos for your projects doesn’t have to be expensive thanks to the many great websites that give you access to millions of stock images for free. You can use high-quality stock images on websites, blogs, YouTube videos or any other type of project that you’re working on. The photos on these sites are free from any copyright restrictions which means you can copy, modify and use these images without asking for permission. The site’s mentioned are not in any order except the last one, which is our top recommendation.
Note that before using any stock photo website it’s best practice to read over their license to determine how their images can be used.
We’ll start out with Unsplash which is one of the most well known sites for free stock photos. They offer a large library of more than half a million high-resolution curated photos which are donated by talented photographers.
Groups of photos are sorted by themes and their collections offer a quick way to compile images for a project. All the published photos on this site are released for free under the
Unsplash license. Their license is similar to the other sites in this article.
StockSnap hosts hundreds of images added each week.
In addition to the search feature it might be a good idea to look at their popular categories to gather resources. All photos are made available under the Creative Commons CC0 license.
Pexels has only been around since 2015, but has become quite popular in a very short time. They offer hundreds of thousands of images which are handpicked from photos uploaded by their users or sourced from other free image websites.
You have the choice to select the size that you need before downloading any photo. Of all the licenses mentioned in this article, the Pexels license is about as straightforward and simple as it can get.
Life of Pix http://www.lifeofpix.com/
Life of Pix is a great resource for some of the most stunning high-resolution photos that you’ll ever find.
With so many unique images, this site should be near the top of your list when gathering new photos. They have another site called Life of Vids which is worth checking out if you need free stock videos clips and loops.
The content provided on both sides are released under Creative Commons CC0 and therefore have no copyright restrictions.
Burst is a resource from Shopify that was created to help entrepreneurs make better marketing materials for their businesses.
Just like all the sites mentioned in this article all of their non copyrighted images are royalty-free and can be used for any marketing campaign that you can think of. They provide you
the choice of both high and low resolution images depending on whether you’re working on a graphic design project or just adding images to a website.
Some of the photos on burst are licensed under Creative Commons CC0 while others are protected with their own photo license.
Freerange is another site that should be at the top of your list when gathering images for a project. They have thousands of photos created from in-house photographers along with images from outside contributors that you won’t find anywhere else.
When you find an image that you like you’ll have a few download options to choose from. Freerange are licensed under equal licence along with many that fall under Creative Commons CC0.
Kaboompics might be the least well-known sites in this article. It offers the cleanest user interface of any stock photo sites available.
Their search engine includes a color picker to help find the perfect photo for your project, in addition to choosing the size for your download. Color palette is also included with the corresponding hex colors from particular image
All photos fall under their own Kaboompics license.
Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
Wikimedia Commons is the one that often gets overlooked when searching for free images. It now has over 50 million freely usable media including images, sounds and videos.
While much of the media on here is in the public domain, there are various types of licenses used throughout the site, which can be tricky for new users.
Pixabay is the site I’ve used the most over the years for various projects. It has one of the biggest collections of high-quality free stock photos. You’re likely to find what you’re looking for on this site. They’re also a great resource for HD and 4K videos, which can come in handy. When downloading any image, there are various sizes to choose from.
All of the images and videos are released under Creative Commons CC0.